How Do Casinos Make Money On Poker

It’s no secret that casinos make money. Every game, be it roulette, blackjack, baccarat, or slots, has a built-in casino advantage commonly known as the house edge. The advantage is usually a few percentage points (which vary from game to game) which guarantee that the casino will make money over a long period. For example, for every $1,000 wagered at roulette, the house wins about $30.

But poker is different.

Whether online or live, the house is not played against. They play against other players and win money from them.

The casino has no personal interest in who wins or loses and the dealer is only there to deal with the cards and watch the gameplay. So what does the casino win? How does a casino make money from poker and what makes it profitable for them to run tournaments and run cash game tables?

The answer to this question is a little four-letter word that plays an important role in the general poker economy. The word is RAKE, and we’re not talking about a garden tool used to pick up piled leaves. in front of your house.

In poker, “commission” is a percentage of the money a casino takes from almost any cash game pot or tournament entry fee, a bit like a tax.

 An example of a rake in poker. About 210% goes to the casino or dealer to manage the game.

Not only will you discover how casinos make money from poker, but also how rake can affect your bottom line as a poker player.

Poker Rake Explained

Poker rake is a common practice of taking rake from each hand in a poker game. It creates the house edge and is where the casinos make their money. Every time you play poker you have to pay the casinos to play.

Poker rake is not the same in all casinos. It depends on what you play, where you play, and how much the casino charges. So, before you start baking that poker bread, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the different types of poker rake.

Pot Rake

Pot rake is the most common way for casinos to win money at poker. It is also the easiest to implement since the dealer takes a small portion of the pot. Every time a player wins the pot, casino dealers take between 5% and 10% as long as the hand hits the flop.

Most casinos implement a no-commission policy for hands that don’t make it to the flop. For example, if a player raises before the flop and all players fold, the dealer takes no rake and continues to the next hand.

If there is no play post-flop, many casinos do not rake. The casinos introduced fixed fees because the rake in the pot is not ideal for high-stakes poker. Players may not feel comfortable paying 5% to 10% of a $1,000 jackpot every time they win. It allowed casinos to charge a decent commission after every hand.

Instead of your dealer calculating the cost of each pot, which varies widely, casinos take turns calculating a fixed amount after each round. It makes the collection for high bet players more acceptable without compromising profits that do casinos.

Time Harvesting

As the name suggests, time harvesting is time-based harvesting. The commission is collected every half hour in two ways:

Time Pot Rake: A fixed amount collected from the first pot

Player Time Rake: The amount collected from each player

The main reason most bettors rake a pot is that their ability will always remain relative. As a result, players don’t feel like they’re paying more for the amount of time they’re on the pitch. Experienced pro poker players often prefer accumulating time over pot rake as they can play more hands against amateurs to increase their statistical advantage further.

Dead Drop

How do casinos make money from poker rake? This is another method for land-based casinos to make money. The only difference with this type of poker rake is that the player pays before the hand begins. The amount of dead drop rake charged to a player should be proportional to the table stakes.

Another fantastic feature of Dead Drop Rake is that it rotates after every hand, creating a sense of equality among those enjoying the game. However, you should also keep in mind that no matter how much money they make, they should pay roughly the same amount.

Tournament Fees

Tournament fees are one of the most common attributes of online poker sites or poker news sites. Tournament fees are easy to understand as online casinos must account for these fees when accepting registrations. 

Rakes than live tournaments at lower stakes because they don’t have too many entry fees. In contrast, live venues have to pay for room rental, tables, paying vendors, and staff. All of this comes at an additional cost to players. 

The tournament Rake will be paid in advance in advance as part of the purchase. Few online poker games do not charge rake but are based on subscriptions where the player has to pay an annual or monthly fee. 

Also, these games earn their income through other sources such as advertising. This subscription fee is displayed in online poker rooms where players are charged monthly subscription fees. Therefore, no tournament or pot rake will be charged.

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Rake free

Rake-free is a common feature in online poker and we can see that some of the sites have removed the concept of rake hence the name Rake Free.

Several websites and companies offer a commission-free service to their frequent players and offer a reduced commission percentage.

Financially secure online casinos/sites also offer free cash games to their players. where it is used to maintain and promote the website and much more.


If players are familiar with online shopping, there are certain features called Cash Back; There is a cashback-like feature called Rakeback in the online poker game. 

Rakeback is a method of player rewards that began in 2004, whereby some online poker sites or their affiliated partners give back a portion of the rake as an incentive for them to keep playing.

This encourages players to keep coming back and using the site. Some sites allow affiliates to offer Rakeback as a direct percentage of rake and tournament entries paid to players.

However, there are online poker rooms that do not allow affiliates to give Rakeback and offer internal loyalty programs that give cash and other rewards instead. These rewards are based on how much players play.

In cash games, Rakeback is calculated using two different methods: dealt and contributed. The dealt method awards the same amount of Rakeback to each player dealt into a hand, and the contributed method rewards players based on their actual contribution to the pot. In poker tournaments, Rakeback is deducted from the cardroom’s entry fee. 

In brick and mortar rooms, the floor person may offer a rake reduction or rake-free play to players willing to start a table shorthanded.

Other Sources of Income

By now you will have learned that the poker room is one of the profitable rooms in any casino.

The issue is that when we look at all the records of statistics and the data surrounding the ways a casino makes money, it is unavoidable that we stare directly at the takings created as a direct outcome of the game.

There is a great deal more than meets the eye when heading into a casino the games are not the only places where casinos make money.

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When you’re heading to any of the big casinos for a legitimate vacation, where is the first place you consider staying?

You could get a cheap deal at a Motel, maybe head to a standalone hotel, or you could stay at the very place you are coming to visit. 

The latter option appeals to the majority and it makes sense for the casinos to charge accordingly.

Whether it’s a group of friends on a weekend getaway or a wedding party celebrating with a little poker, all the rooms work to increase the resort’s bottom line. That’s just with friendly parties. 

As soon as you consider the huge amount of money when thousands of poker players visit for up to a week at a time for big tournaments, you’ve got yourself a hotel full of poker players to bring in more money.

Alternative games

If you and a couple of friends are heading out to the casino to play some poker, what are the odds that you are only going to play a few rounds and head back home? 

You might come to play poker, but with so many other games at which to try your luck, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy and makes you stick around. 

They will introduce blackjack, slots, and roulette which you will soon find yourself playing.

We have all been there (if you’re a poker player). 

You fly into town for a big tournament, reach a little earlier than you were expecting and have a day or two to kill before heading back.  

You are having fun at a game that is a bit varied from the one you were expecting and the casino keeps its house edge and eventually gains profits from you.

Entertainment and shows

Everyone needs a break from the cards now and then. Casino resorts know this. No matter what time of year, customers plan to visit the world’s most known casinos, there are always enough great acts and entertainment to choose from and watch.

From the biggest bands and funniest comedians to the most talented magicians and circus performers, everything you could hope for can be found – providing you have chosen for a good casino that is.

Although the acts will determine the lion’s share of the takings, it’s no surprise that the casino will take a particular commission, too. You may come for the poker, but you can bet your lowest dollar you’ll end up on a show!

How Do Casinos Calculate Rake?

There are several ways that establishments can calculate and collect commissions. The commission is often a percentage of the pot, determined on a sliding scale.

The percentage is usually between two and a half percent and ten percent of the money in the pot, although these numbers vary from casino to casino and game to game, with some charging higher commissions than others.

A maximum amount may typically be collected to offset the impact on high-stakes games, particularly no-limit games. In some cases, the rake is a fixed amount that applies to all poker hands, regardless of the pot size.


Some of the decisions made at the local casino aim to increase revenue as a form of business, while others are designed to increase the payer’s convenience. Large amounts of money are exchanged through casinos every year.

In 2005, the United States had gross revenue of $31.85 billion from commercial casinos and $22.62 billion from Native American casinos. The casino industry revenues are much higher than any other business in the country.



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